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sacred pages of the Gospel of Truth, do not your eyes drop tears as “the clouds drop fatness," softening and warming the stubborn soil beneath ? Do you not feel the “beauty of holiness” trickling upon your souls; and the world and all its degrading passions and pursuits rapidly disappearing? Do you not involuntarily exclaim, as you point to the sepulchre in which you have entombed the crucified body of your Master, “Lord, come and see"? And seeing it, must not tears of the truest and of the most impassioned joy and tenderness again flow even from the eyes
of your Redeemer, exalted though He be to infinite dignity and glory. At least, He once “wept ;” and if He weep no more, doubtless He will feel to the uttermost that celestial pleasure which the angels of heaven entertain for “one sinner that repenteth.” Let the imagination of that pleasure be indulged : and let it stimulate you to those efforts which may eventually be thus rewarded. “ Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?” And is your faith still dubious of religious truths—still heedless of Divine assertions ? Shall we indeed refuse to see the glory of God by turning away from the place “where they have laid him?” Shall we behold His tears fall rather at the utter perversion of our understandings, and at the utter depravity of hearts, as they fell for the righteous desolation of
Jerusalem, than the tears which fell from tenderness of heart and godlike mercy, at the sorrows of His friends ? Yet the one was followed by afflictions of the most rending description—the other, by the resurrection of Lazarus, and the triumphal cry of pure and perfect joy!
My fellow Christians, conceive with what a burst of transport Lazarus would be received by his weeping friends! Yet Lazarus had again to suffer all the pains of mortality-all the trials and sorrows to which this flesh is heir ! At the
of judgment, they who have laid their Saviour in His proper sanctuary, will hear the lofty summons and obey; but will never more be subject to the slavery of grief or death. They will meet again their virtuous friends and relations; and tears will be converted into smiles of rapture-groans and troubles into everlasting felicity-doubts and fears into everlasting assurance !
“Where” then, my brethren, “have Him?” Let this question be but sincerely and rightly answered ; and well I am persuaded, that the benefit will be great and enduring. For it is impossible that the genuine tears of a meek and penitent heart should not call down from Him who once bewept our sorrows, an increase of that grace, which alone can support us through this dark and dreary world—of that grace, which in a more manifest, but not perhaps in a more
powerful degree, raised the lamented Lazarus from the dead. Christ is indeed all-merciful as omnipotent—delighting to save-grieving to destroy ; His unfailing promise has gone forth to “swallow up death in victory. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces ; and the rebuke of His people shall he take away from off all the earth.” My brethren, “the Lord hath spoken it."
THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS COMPARED.
“ And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain : and
when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth and taught them.”—Matt. v. 1, 2.
THE striking dissimilarity which exists in the moral tone of the Old and New Testament, cannot have escaped observation. The one is rigid and uncompromising ; while the other is indulgent and overflowing with tenderness for the human race. The one is composed of endless ceremonies and oblations; while the other, simple in its design and in its execution, improves the understanding and affects the heart.
When the laws of the Old Covenant were delivered to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinaï, they were delivered with many awful accompaniments. Jehovah enwrapped His glorious Majesty in a cloud of thick darkness. Round the border of the mountain were set bounds which no one could pass; and death was the penalty of touching it, whether to man or beast. The thunder pealed, and the lightnings broke vividly from the cloud. Mount Sinaï was as a smoking furnace; for the Lord God descended in fire ; and the mountain staggered as at the shock of an earthquake. “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” That Almighty incomprehensible Being, who had hitherto borne the Israelites as on “ eagles' wings,” now condescends to deliver to them His ordinances. And so appalling was the whole scene—so thrilling and terrific its subsidiary adjuncts, “the thunderings and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking”—that the people were unable to withstand the consternation they inspired. They fled afar off, and entreated Moses to become the medium by which they should receive the commandments of their Omnipotent Guide. And although Moses approached only unto the thick darkness in which the Godhead lay concealed; yet, illumined by the powerful emanations of Divine Majesty, he returned so radiant in his presence, as to waken anew the apprehensions of the people. It was even necessary to cast a veil over his aspect, until he had communicated that which had been enjoined.